“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
My friend said these words to me years ago. She talked about cleansing, about forgiveness, and how “ho’oponopono” can be a therapeutic mantra for ourselves and for others.
My friend explained that setting an intention of forgiveness could help us release our suffering and how we could help us find healing within ourselves. I was dying to know more. “Yes, that is exactly what I need in my life,” I thought.
Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. By doing this practice, the ancient cultures believed it would clear the mind and the roots of illness.
Traditionally, it was performed by spiritual priests among the family members. The literal translation is: “To put to right; to put in order or shape, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, make orderly or neat.”
Holding onto resentment and bitterness can take up a lot of space inside us—it is more of a hindrance for ourselves than for anyone else. Most of us have been taught to forgive others, but forgiving ourselves is a practice that is easier said than done.
Forgiveness is important for self-healing, for examining and evaluating our causes of pain and to open them. Without opening them, we block the chance to move forward in our process of growth and evolution.
Ho’oponopono has become an important mantra in my daily life. With the lifestyle that I have chosen to live, I wake up in new places every few months.
The homey couch of a loved one, the cold airplane seats, the soft earth beneath my body, the stiff boards in the rustic cabin. I’ve woken up in so many new places in all corners of the world. The slow traveling life keeps me on my toes. Sometimes, I wake up in places where nothing and no one reminds me of home.
I’m often hard on myself when things go wrong and I make mistakes. We are much more likely to understand our loved ones when they are going through something difficult. We tell them to be easy on themselves, yet when the tables are turned we expect perfection.
A huge lesson for me has been to understand that if I can forgive myself, I can be at peace with myself. As long as there is peace, home is wherever I go.
We can practice ho’oponopono with a big, spiritual ceremony with our family and spiritual teachers, but it can also be practiced daily by ourselves.
It can start as a thought—a seed that is planted in the mind consciously and performed daily. It can help our practice grow every day—not just when the times are tough.
A nice way to practice this is to find a quiet space. First, sit in a comfortable posture. Feel the Earth grounding you down through the sit bones and feel the crown of your head reaching up toward the sky. Relax into the body. Feel the softness and strength within.
Inhale deeper, exhale longer. Fill and expand the body, and let the mantra fill the mind.
Do you live life with regrets? Have you forgiven yourself? Are you holding on to resentment and bitterness toward someone or something that is blocking from your true essence and finding peace?
Ho’oponopono. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Author: Tatiana Hall
Editor: Sara Karpanen